Erich Przywara: God ‘always greater and greater’

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Paul Gilbert, SJ

 Paul Gilbert, SJ / Issue 2006 / 26 May 2020

Erich Przywara was born to a Polish father and a German mother in 1889 in Katowice, a city that was German at the time, but it has been Polish since 1921. For this reason from his youth he came to know a tension the like of which he would face all his life, recognizing that in principle opposite poles are not enemies, but co-presences.

As a Christian, a reader of Saint Paul and a Jesuit, Przywara strove to reconcile many spiritual and intellectual spheres in God. Faithful to the teaching of Vatican I, he believed that the transcendence of God did not prevent us from knowing him from our human experience, although this could not impose on our knowledge of God any interpretative principle that would reduce it to a self-referential human experience: God is “always greater.”

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